'Young Royals' Review: Not a fix for 'The Crown' but a royal treat nonetheless
Spoilers ahead for 'Young Royals'
If you were expecting 'Young Royals' to fill the void until the next season of 'The Crown' hits Netflix, well you should be prepared that 'Young Royals' is a lot more like the Spanish teen drama 'Elite' rather than Peter Morgan's masterpiece 'The Crown'.
'Young Royals' certainly doesn't have the pomp and splendor of a show like 'The Crown', considering its largely set at the Hillerska boarding school, where Prince Wilhelm is sent after he gets into a scuffle at a nightclub, prompting the royal family to send him to boarding school to put him on a straight and narrow path.
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Prince Wilhlem however after what seems like an uncharacteristic outburst at the nightclub, goes on to show a softer side at the boarding school with a capacity for great kindness, especially for anyone he perceives as an underdog. This is perhaps what led to him being drawn to Simon (Omar Rudberg), one of the elite boarding school's non-resident students who is from a far less privileged background. Prince Wilhelm soon finds himself romantically drawn to Simon and Edvin Ryding does a stellar job playing the prince caught between living up to the image he is expected to project and the romantic feelings he's grappling with for the very first time. The love between Simon and Prince Wilhelm builds subtly and believably and the moments in which the two share conspiratorial smiles, especially about Wilhelm's overbearing second cousin August (Malte Gardinger) are beautifully acted.
A mention must also be made of Gardinger's performance. Gardinger is excellent as Wilhelm's cousin August who tries to cover up his trauma at the loss of his father by suicide, with an over-gregarious brittle facade. Gardinger is one of the more interesting characters on 'Young Royals', who struggles with a dependency on psychiatric medication. His watchfulness over the young prince is not completely unselfish, as August's social standing is largely tied up in his proximity to the prince. Some of the other issues the students grapple with on 'Young Royals' may have you rolling your eyes though. One student's biggest problem is that she can't connect to the horse that her father has bought her. A rich person's problem if there ever was one.
While the show does veer down a familiar path, showing that kids who are less privileged financially often have richer emotional lives, in 'Young Royals' for the most part it's not done in a cliched manner. The subject matter of how a modern monarchy would take to a gay prince also makes for interesting content and to find out just how that aspect plays out, you can catch 'Young Royals' on Netflix which premiered on July 1.